28 February 2012

Christian Living

Holiness is an important factor in matters pertaining to church growth. Holiness is a way of life, that is, the character of all those people who are pure in heart (Matthew 5:8; Hebrews 12:14). How we think, talk and live before our fellowman is important. A light that flickers and salt that loses it preserving power contribute to the stagnation of a local congregation. Christians who are living godly and involving themselves in the care of others will influence sinners in the way of the Lord. Hypocrites, who deceive, negligent members who are filled with apathy and brethren who stray, injure the cause of the Lord more than they realize. Preaching without practicing prevents many from obeying the gospel.

A congregation may possess the greatest orator for a preacher but no one will come to hear him if the church is not respected in the local community. The fact is, neighbors and friends visit mainly because of their respect for you, the life you live before them, and the example you are. They may disagree doctrinally but they will respect your convictions. A ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude turns people away; however, a true sense of concern and compassion for others will entice them to listen to what you say.

It is not necessary to wear certain kinds of apparel or to carry a placard advertising that you are member of some religious group. Your friends and neighbors already know what you are. They notice your enthusiasm or your indifference. They observe your faithfulness or your ungodliness. You are preaching and practicing before them every day.

Our peers are listening to our speech, watching what we are wearing, observing our habits, noticing our recreational activities, learning of our dealings with others and they are even concerned with our loyalty to the Lord and the local church. In fact, someone is scrutinizing every aspect of your daily life. You may, in fact, be the reason a person decides to become a Christian or to remain in sin. Never underestimate the power of your influence for good or bad!

The sentiments expressed by the apostle Paul as found in Philippians 2:12-16 should be considered and obeyed by the children of God: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His great pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among which you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.”

One of the greatest contributing sources to church growth is the individual Christian who is living faithfully to the Lord before his fellowman. What kind would your congregation be if all the members lived just like you?


Tressa Roten said...

I so enjoy your blogs. You and "Miss Ginny" are wonderful examples for our family.

Tina Foster said...

I prayed this morning that the LORD would grant me extra encouragement today and HE has through you. Thank you so much.
We love you and Miss Ginny forever!
Tina Foster

evelena said...

This is the best article on this topic I have ever read. Excellent. Encouraging. Educating the sheep. You write so well, you preach even better.
thanks for sending these. Takes me a while to download, but worth it.